For their draw at AZ Alkmaar, captain Cesc Fabregas, who had fired the Gunners into the lead on 35 minutes, was flanked by both Diaby and Alex Song, the Cameroon international happy to break up play before laying possession off to start another Arsenal attack.
Frenchman Diaby, 23, has used the opportunity presented by a back injury to Denilson as he stakes a claim for a regular place in the Gunners' side.
"The new midfield formation is working great," Diaby said. "We all try to both attack and defend.
"I have more liberty and am more free in this new role, it is a position where I feel good."